News | Research

INSTAAR research is featured in thousands of news stories and more than 10,000 social media posts per year. Outlets include the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio, and as well as more regional news outlets like High Country News, 9News, and the Denver Post. Selected highlights are listed below. Additional stories are noted @INSTAAR on Twitter.

Rows of grape vines in a Napa Valley vineyard. (Credit: Eve-Lyn Hinckley)

Toward more sustainable wine: Scientists can now track sulfur from grapes to streams (CU Boulder Today)

May 24, 2022

New research from the University of Colorado Boulder is the first to show that agricultural sulfur has a unique fingerprint that can be traced from application to endpoint. Led by Eve-Lyn Hinckley, who is transitioning her research team from INSTAAR to CIRES, the study paves the way to protect waterways downstream from unintended impacts of anthropogenic sulfur application.

Banner from the CSDMS Spring School website, showing the name of the workshop and the dates May 9th - 19th 2022

CSDMS Spring School supports programming, modeling skills for Earth surface process research

May 22, 2022

25 students from diverse backgrounds are in SEEC completing the CSDMS Spring School, a week-long coding camp designed to build students’ cyberinfrastructure skills needed in Earth science careers.

Colorado State House Science Committee meets around the table with CU science leaders

U.S. House committee, Colorado congressional delegation visit campus (CU Boulder Today)

May 4, 2022

On May 3, members of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and Colorado congressional delegation joined leaders and scientists from CU Boulder, including INSTAAR Director Merritt Turetsky, to showcase university research and federal partnerships.

Frozen branch begins to melt

Eye on Earth: What happens when mountain snow melts too fast in the spring? (CBS Denver)

April 26, 2022

Keith Musselman was interviewed for this CBS Denver news story on the effects of climate change on deep snowpack.

Partially burned forest, still smoking

After wildfires, scorched trees could disrupt water supplies (AP News)

April 22, 2022

As climate change fuels the spread of wildfires across the West, researchers want to know how the dual effect might disrupt water supplies. Noah Molotch is among those interviewed.

Infrastructure in London

London produces a third more methane than estimates suggest (Imperial College London)

Feb. 18, 2022

Researchers from Imperial College London have performed new measurements using data from INSTAAR's Stable Isotope Lab (Sylvia Englund Michel). They found London produces 30-35% more methane than previously thought. Previous estimates suggested 25% of London's methane is from natural gas leaks, but the new study says it's up to 85%.

Snow covers Deer Creek, near the the headwaters of the Snake River on Jan. 29, 2022, in Summit County. (Hugh Carey, The Colorado Sun)

Climate change is eroding work to clean up the Snake River. Is snowmaking making it worse? (Colorado Sun)

Feb. 16, 2022

A warmer, drier alpine is impeding water quality for streams and rivers used for snowmaking, like the Snake River that runs through Keystone. Diane McKnight is interviewed in this Colorado Sun story.

Boulder flatirons after a light snow

The Western U.S. might be seeing its last snowy winters (Fast Company)

Jan. 12, 2022

Because of climate change, the snowpack in the Western U.S. is already 20% less than it was in the 1950s, a volume of water that could fill Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country. By the end of the century, most years in the region could be nearly snowless. Keith Musselman is interviewed.

Coastal erosion reveals the extent of ice-rich permafrost underlying active layer on the Arctic Coastal Plain in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area of the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska

Warming permafrost puts key Arctic pipelines, roads at “high risk,” study says (Washington Post)

Jan. 11, 2022

In coming decades, the shifting terrain that accompanies the warming of the permafrost caused by climate change will put most human-made structures in the Arctic at risk. Nearly 70 percent of the infrastructure in the Northern Hemisphere's permafrost regions—including at least 120,000 buildings and nearly 25,000 miles of roads—are located in areas with high potential for thaw of near-surface permafrost by 2050, according to new research. Quotes Merritt Turetsky: "I am writing a eulogy for the ecosystem that I love. The permafrost has been there for thousands of years in some places, and it will never come back."

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska

The great Siberian thaw (The New Yorker)

Jan. 10, 2022

Permafrost contains microbes, mammoths, and twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. What happens when it starts to thaw? Merritt Turetsky weighs in.